The heat has hit! We had several days of blinding sunshine in the morning, and thunder/lightning/rain at night, but the last few days it has been warm, warm, warm! And it's only the beginning! Thank goodness summer is the rainy season - at least it cools down a little when it rains!
Yesterday Morgan played on the Durban District Rugby Team (Under 15A) and they beat the Johannesburg Blue Bulls. This is very, very good. Club rugby is now over (I think) so he'll be doing his rugby skills training two days a week, and gymming (do we sat that in the States?) two days a week.
Hunter, meanwhile, is doing physical therapy four times a week. He keeps trying to sneak back into basketball, but the therapist is very firm on that point: no competitive sports until nine months have passed. Of course, Hunger figures he's so good, there IS no competition...
Interesting story on our Umlazi W district (remember the group mugging?) The district now consists of Elders Gifford, England, Babeeyo, Reese, Torgersen & Goldsmith. They went to KFC for dinner after watching the Saturday morning session of conference at the stake center (it was, after all, 8 pm) and the place was robbed while they were there. The interesting (and nice) part, is that one of the employees pointed out the missionaries to robbers, saying something unknown in Zulu, and a robber came over and said "Don't worry - we won't bother you" and proceeded to rob everyone else, and the cash register, and leave. Maybe in Umlazi you are only allowed to be mugged once a quarter? Anyway, we were very happy with the respect the elders were shown. I hope it's because they have earned the community's trust.
In an hour or so Steve and I will be flying off to Johannesburg for a Mission Presidents Seminar. We have them twice a year, and this is the really "serious training" one. Elder Holland and Elder Snow will be the trainers, and there will be one separate afternoon where Sister Holland and Sister Snow will do...whatever with the wives. We all stay at a hotel together for the training and meals, and do a temple session. The Hollands, Snows, and Area Presidency must be pretty worn out. They were all conference, and then flew back in time for meetings with the 3rd Quorum of Seventy (our Area Seventies) yesterday and today. Tonight Elder Holland is doing a fireside, and we start our seminar at 8 tomorrow morning. When do they sleep???
My biggest concern, of course, is leaving the mission home to the mercy of Morgan and Hunter. The assistants and the office elders will help with transportation, but my real comfort is Elder and Sister Sessions. They'll keep a closer eye on them than I probably do!
Parker has sent us the rough draft of the member missionary training dvd that he filmed while he was here. It looks really good. The members who are in it will love seeing themselves - and it will be a great tool for the missionaries to use. We are very into modelling and role-playing (sorry, we don't role-play, we practice). Once the members have been through the Sunday lessons on sharing the gospel, and the Preach My Gospel Member program, and gone on the Neighborhood Walkabout, and worked with the training video, no one will need the MTC anymore! (Just kidding...)
The stake roadshows were Friday night - they were very different from what you might visualize. The idea was to base it on a musical. Our ward did a very quick version of Grease (and we won, by the way!) Jubz was the angel who sang Beauty School Dropout (he wore Elder Schlenker's white baptismal clothes) and they all sang along to the cd. They were loud enough that you could hear them, though.
The Kwadebeka Ward did an African musical with traditional dancing. Very neat! I'm working on instructions for the roadshows in the districts for February - I think it would be nice to do a mix of traditional and modern, or African and Western, or something. We may need to be very specific the first time around, and provide a very basic roadshow that they can tweak however much they'd like. It's very fun and challenging in the pioneer Church!
Everyone have a really good day on the 13th - It's Torry's birthday.
We appreciate all your support and help! Our latest need is for families to "adopt" an African elder, to email him every week and send goodies at Christmas and on his birthday. We have several who never get anything, and here are their companions raking in the mail and packages. If you're interested, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Love you all!
Mom/Grandma/Sue/Susan/Sister President Mann
ps I've decided my name is boring, as I get acquainted with Nonhlanhla, and Sebile, and and Phumzile and Smangele!
pps One of our African elders just came down with chicken pox - haven't seen that for awhile!